Every election season is a barrier to connection, with people overwhelmed by 24/7 messages from multiple campaigns via multiple channels. But connecting this fall, with a presidential campaign as contentious and bizarre as the Clinton-Trump contest, is tougher than ever.
Monday night’s debate highlighted our dukes up, all-rules-broken political arena. Pile on the chaos we face on so many fronts—from racial profiling to the refugee crisis, and Zika—and it’s almost impossible to get attention, much less motivate action. We can’t fight it, but we can’t sit it out.
Here’s how to get (and stay) close to your people right now:
1) Show your people you get them. The shifting of norms—who is presidential material and how the campaign is run, caring for refugees fleeing nations that brutalize them, public safety for all—is unnerving. People are feeling vulnerable, and candidates’ fear mongering fuels that anxiety and sense of powerlessness.
Acknowledge that this is a tough timefor all of us, that you understand your people, and care about them.
This incredible experiment in using virtual reality to build empathy—the first step to engagement and action—could be groundbreaking. I am following closely, can’t wait to see how this evolves, and promise to report back along the way. Van, I hope you and your team will share out what works, what doesn’t, and how other orgs and causes can use this technique to build the empathy necessary to motivate action.
P.P.S. This Day of Empathy approach is all about making Dream Corps’ methods and goals relevant to more of us, via virtual reality. Relevance Rules! And it’s meta—Van does a fantastic job of making the experiment relevant to us in this video.
How many times did you get distracted already today?
It’s no secret that we need to communicate quickly, briefly and on point to grab the attention of folks in a near constant stage of distraction. That’s been one of the most significant fundraising challenges since the advent of the Internet, compounded over time by our reliance on more content on more platforms on more devices more of the time. But the first step to connecting in our age of distraction is understanding what’s going on.
Consider your habits. How much attention do you give your 8-year-old daughter’s first-time request to host a sleepover, your BFF’s distress over her mom’s increasing dementia, or your colleague’s wrangles with her boss? For most of us, the answer is “not as much as I would like to.”
There’s no better way for your organization to get your supporters’ and prospects’ attention (media attention, too) than piggybacking on what’s already top of mind. Your people are already thinking on this stuff, so are far more likely to connect with your campaign than at any other time. Relevances rules!
So, make the most of Mother’s Day—you still have time if you act now. Mother’s Day campaigns are right-things, right-now marketing and I’ve seen some fantastic examples from nonprofits like yours in recent years. Take a look and act NOW:
Watch it and weep, with laughter and recognition (if you’re a working parent, or overloaded in any other way). That’s definitely me! Is it you? This video from Make It Work—a community making things better for hardworking women, men and families across the country—works wonders. It: READ MORE
Get this! Media recluse Bob Dylan recently gave his first interview in a few years…to the AARP magazine.
Dylan and his handlers were being crafty, not crazy, here. Dylan’s just-released album, Shadows in the Night, is 100% Sinatra covers. “Bob…wanted to reach the AARP audience. And he thought that this record would be more appreciated by people who had more wisdom and experience in life,” says Robert Love, publisher of the magazine.
I’m a huge fan of the charity clearinghouse GlobalGiving, and have donated through them several times to causes I wouldn’t have been able to connect with otherwise.
That’s GlobalGiving’s sweet spot—connecting donors like yours (and you, and me) with causes that we may not find, know of and/or be able to easily donate to. They do a fantastic job of it: Since 2002, GlobalGiving has raised $151,783,082 from 407,034 donors who have supported 10,812 projects.
There’s no better way for your organization to get your supporters’ and prospects’ attention (media attention, too) than hooking into what’s top of mind. Your people are already thinking about these topics and issues, so are far more likely to connect with your campaign than at other times.
That’s right-things, right-now marketing and I’ve seen some fantastic Mother’s Day models from nonprofits like yours in the last few weeks. Here are two of the very best:
Here’s the hot-off-the-presses story I just received from Leili Khalessi, Communications Manager at RedRover. Leili and her colleagues have done a terrific job responding to the deadly tornadoes and torrential rains that are wreaking havoc with our lives, and those of our pets.
The response has been great—Leili reports that local agencies have shared RedRover’s disaster-related resources via Twitter and other channels and the org’s 15,000+ Facebook fans have been sharing its disaster-resource & assistance graphic far and wide. “We’ve also received some press inquiries from pet-related publications because of our coverage on the tornadoes,” says Leili.
You can bet folks will remember RedRover’s help and moral support, with donations, loyalty and more. Here’s what Leili and team did, and how they made it happen quickly and effectively. READ MORE
Update: Thanks to community member Phyllis Nunkis who brought 4 Kids’ deceptive practices and false advertising to my attention. Kids4Kars doesn’t meet the Better Business Bureau’s standards for Charity Accountability, and the organization has been the subject of many, many complaints from consumers over the years. It is unfortunate to see smart, creative marketing used for the wrong purposes,” says Phyllis.
She’s 100% correct, but the best response we can have is to use this effective model to spur our own marketing innovation. Go to it!
What a morning! Our daughter, Charlotte, is off to her 5th-grade camping trip today and woke up with a challenging combo of anxiety and excitement—about having the right clothes, the weather, and every other facet of the trip she could imagine. Between us, it was a nightmare getting her out of the house this morning and a huge relief to watch the bus pulling away.
So how timely that that I saw this Kids 4 Kars campaign first thing today. Talk about getting my attention!